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Old 05-29-2013, 04:12 PM   #1
TonyR
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Default Reagan's foreign policy

Really interesting read on how Reagan's foreign policy legacy had been twisted and abused by the right over the last 25 years to fit modern day narratives and policy agendas. Here are the concluding paragraphs:

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The idea that Reagan “won” the Cold War is one of the more pernicious and enduring distortions of Reagan’s real success, which involved both opposing and engaging with the Soviet Union as its system collapsed from within largely on its own. The claim of winning the Cold War greatly exaggerated the ability of the U.S. to shape events in other countries. That in turn has inspired later generations of conservatives and Republicans to imagine that they can successfully promote dramatic political change overseas in order to topple foreign regimes. As Kennan said in the same op-ed: “Nobody—no country, no party, no person—‘won’ the cold war. It was a long and costly political rivalry, fueled on both sides by unreal and exaggerated estimates of the intentions and strength of the other party.”

Congratulating Reagan for winning the Cold War is one more form of widespread abuse of Reagan’s legacy that has adversely affected how conservatives think about foreign policy and the proper U.S. role in the world. This has warped how the right understands American power and U.S. relations with authoritarian and pariah states for the last two decades. It also blinds many conservatives to the fact that other nations resent and reject American interference in their political affairs. In spite of the failures of nation-building in Iraq and Afghanistan and the collapse of the so-called Freedom Agenda, this myth continues to make many on the right overly confident in our government’s ability to influence overseas political developments to suit American wishes.

The conservatism of the Cold War era was in large part defined by anticommunism, as this provided the common cause that united disparate groups on the right and informed their prevailing foreign-policy views. Ever since the end of the Cold War, conservatives have sought in vain to find something that might replace anticommunism, and they have tried to conjure up a new ideological foe that could fill the same role that Communism did for four decades. Many conservatives have sought to use the existence of jihadism as a justification for a new global ideological struggle, and even Senator Paul suggested something along these lines in his speech at Heritage with his comparison of “radical Islam” and the Soviet Union. Yet what is necessary for conservatives now is to stop conceiving of the U.S. as the leader of one side in a global ideological struggle, and that isn’t likely to happen so long as conservatives keep falling back on arguments about what Reagan did and what he would do today.

Conservatives certainly can and should still learn from Reagan’s successes and mistakes—as they should from those of Nixon, Eisenhower, and other past leaders. However, if there is to be a conservative foreign policy that is well-suited to advancing present-day U.S. security interests, conservatives cannot continue relying on the crutch of imitating and invoking Reagan. If conservatives are supposed to understand and cope with the world as it is, rather than how it once was or how we would like it to be, nothing would be worse than to mimic a foreign policy that was created for another era.
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Old 05-30-2013, 09:15 AM   #2
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I was never a Reagan fan -- but Reagan had some quality people in his administration, e.g., Paul Craig Roberts and David Stockman.

Reagan's White House was subverted by his VP HW Bush -- who may also have been behind the attempted assassination of Reagan -- which happened soon after Reagan entered office. One of Bush's sons was connected with the gunman Hinkley. Amazing this connection never came out.

Bush and W Casey had helped engineer Reagan's election by arranging the October Surprise with Iran -- behind the back of Pres Jimmy Carter. The arrangement set in motion an arms pipeline to Iran -- that started in March 1981 -- and continued through 1987-88.

The Israelis handled the shipments and money transfers. Bush and his pal Bob Gates ran the operation. Another Bush insider, Oliver North, tried to set up a separate arms pipeline to fund/supply the Contras. This was exposed -- and nearly destroyed Reagan's presidency.

No surprise that Reagan came to hate Bush -- and never supported his later candidacy with any enthusiasm. Reagan had good reason.

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Old 05-30-2013, 09:29 AM   #3
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I was never a Reagan fan -- but Reagan had some quality people in his administration, e.g., Paul Craig Roberts and David Stockman.

Reagan's White House was subverted by his VP HW Bush -- who may also have been behind the attempted assassination of Reagan -- which happened soon after Reagan entered office. One of Bush's sons was connected with the gunman Hinkley. Amazing this connection never came out.

Bush and W Casey had helped engineer Reagan's election by arranging the October Surprise with Iran -- behind the back of Pres Jimmy Carter. The arrangement set in motion an arms pipeline to Iran -- that started in March 1981 -- and continued through 1987-88.

The Israelis handled the shipments and money transfers. Bush and his pal Bob Gates ran the operation. Another Bush insider, Oliver North, tried to set up a separate arms pipeline to fund/supply the Contras. This was exposed -- and nearly destroyed Reagan's presidency.

No surprise that Reagan came to hate Bush -- and never supported his later candidacy with any enthusiasm. Reagan had good reason.

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Just Curious, Gaff. Does bad **** ever just happen, or is there always a mastermind?
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Old 05-30-2013, 01:45 PM   #4
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Just Curious, Gaff. Does bad **** ever just happen, or is there always a mastermind?
Don't forget, HW Bush had already been CIA chief, under Pres Ford. Reagan also named HW Bush to head up his war on drugs.

It was HW Bush who ran Panamanian drug lord Manuel Noriega -- and HW Bush who oversaw Oliver North and the whole Contra War effort -- which later blew up in Reagan's face.

Bush was Mr teflon -- always off the radar screen -- even as he led CIA management of the drug trade while VP. CIA used drug money to fund covert ops.

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Old 05-30-2013, 03:19 PM   #5
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Don't forget, HW Bush had already been CIA chief, under Pres Ford. Reagan also named HW Bush to head up his war on drugs.

It was HW Bush who ran Panamanian drug lord Manuel Noriega -- and HW Bush who oversaw Oliver North and the whole Contra War effort -- which later blew up in Reagan's face.

Bush was Mr teflon -- always off the radar screen -- even as he led CIA management of the drug trade while VP. CIA used drug money to fund covert ops.

MHG
I didn't mean it rhetorically. I really want to know.

Has some random crazy nobody ever killed anyone important or blown anything important up without it having been orchestrated by someone on the inside?

Seems like every time something bad happens, you've got some kind of conspiracy lined up behind it.
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Old 05-30-2013, 03:35 PM   #6
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I didn't mean it rhetorically. I really want to know.

Has some random crazy nobody ever killed anyone important or blown anything important up without it having been orchestrated by someone on the inside?

Seems like every time something bad happens, you've got some kind of conspiracy lined up behind it.
If Gaffo dropped his toast and it landed butter side down, he'd start searching his bunker for hidden agents.
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Old 05-30-2013, 10:37 AM   #7
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No surprise that Reagan came to hate Bush -- and never supported his later candidacy with any enthusiasm. Reagan had good reason.
Yeah. He was a babbling gork by that time.
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Old 05-30-2013, 08:30 PM   #8
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Yeah. He was a babbling gork by that time.
The lizard people turned his mind to jelly beans
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Old 05-30-2013, 08:39 PM   #9
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The lizard people turned his mind to jelly beans
Do you really believe the lizard people stuff Baja?
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Old 05-30-2013, 08:47 PM   #10
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Do you really believe the lizard people stuff Baja?
what do you think.


look who I am responding to
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Old 05-30-2013, 08:50 PM   #11
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The lizard people turned his mind to jelly beans
Mmmmmm. Jelly beans.

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Old 05-30-2013, 10:53 AM   #12
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Giving credit to Reagan on winning the Cold War is a hard struggle for liberals because Conservatives use it as a positive when talking foreign policy. I give Reagan a ton of credit for it and his hard ass approach. The one thing I do agree with that Tony quoted is this..

"Conservatives certainly can and should still learn from Reagan’s successes and mistakes—as they should from those of Nixon, Eisenhower, and other past leaders. However, if there is to be a conservative foreign policy that is well-suited to advancing present-day U.S. security interests, conservatives cannot continue relying on the crutch of imitating and invoking Reagan. If conservatives are supposed to understand and cope with the world as it is, rather than how it once was or how we would like it to be, nothing would be worse than to mimic a foreign policy that was created for another era."

You don't have to forget how it was done or why it was done but we are in different battles in a different era. This is how it should be done. Libs give credit to Reagan and conservatives stop using 100% of Reagan's foreign policies to shape today's world.
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Old 05-30-2013, 11:07 AM   #13
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What did Reagan have to do with Perestroika and Glasnost, John?
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Old 05-30-2013, 08:08 PM   #14
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It is difficult to assign credit just to one President and if I would it wouldn't be Reagan. The Soviet buildup started actually before 1980, so our own spending really didn't accomplish a ton, other than maybe creating massive deficits.

I'd say Nixon and Truman were the two Presidents who made the biggest impact in winning the Cold War. Truman was responsible for the initial strategy of containment and it was under his administration that many of the vital defense apparatus of today were established (modern DoD, NSA, CIA) as well as NATO. The formations of these agenciesand also the alliance was the absolute bedrock that every subsequent administration benefitted from. The Marshall Plan was also absolutely instrumental in keeping Europe from falling prey to Communism after the war.

Nixons contribution was more strategic rather than organizational. The rapprochement with China was a major way of tilting the balance of power back in the US direction during what was previously a period of relative decline. This forced the Soviets now to fight a two front war on either border and I think that was among the key reasons that their military spending began to increase well before 1980. One of the offshoots of this was the revival of the SALT talks which culminated in May 1972. The ABM agreement pretty much assured us of no nuclear war because it forced both sides to basically eradicate all but 2 missile defense sites, so we were dealing with MAD. The interim Agreement on offensive Weapons has gotten alot of criticism for being less than perfect, or less than what Raymond Garthoff and the formal SALT negotiation team could have achieved. I think that misses the point. Looking back on it, the genius of SALT I was that after the China opening, the Soviets now have the impetus to expand their array of offensive weapons and the treaty basically allowed them to do that within some soft caps on ICBMs and rules fr replacement etc. Whats important in SALT I is really what's not in it. There was no MIRV ban, which was the main technological advantage the US had (the USSR had 600 more ICBMs but the US missiles were much more lethal due to MIRV technology). So you are assuring yourself of no real war thru the ABM Treaty and you are giving the Soviets a reason to keep building up (fear of Sino-US alliance plus a treaty that leaves in place a US tech advantage and puts only soft caps on nuke proliferation.....so of course they are going to be incentivized to match the tech and keep building offensive weapons). That was the brilliant aspect of this. You make sure you won't go to war but you also make sure the bad Soviet economy still has reason to spend, spend and spend. We were going to win either way. It's too bad Reagan had to waste a ton of money needlessly.
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Old 05-31-2013, 04:02 PM   #15
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It is difficult to assign credit just to one President and if I would it wouldn't be Reagan. The Soviet buildup started actually before 1980, so our own spending really didn't accomplish a ton, other than maybe creating massive deficits.

I'd say Nixon and Truman were the two Presidents who made the biggest impact in winning the Cold War. Truman was responsible for the initial strategy of containment and it was under his administration that many of the vital defense apparatus of today were established (modern DoD, NSA, CIA) as well as NATO. The formations of these agenciesand also the alliance was the absolute bedrock that every subsequent administration benefitted from. The Marshall Plan was also absolutely instrumental in keeping Europe from falling prey to Communism after the war.

Nixons contribution was more strategic rather than organizational. The rapprochement with China was a major way of tilting the balance of power back in the US direction during what was previously a period of relative decline. This forced the Soviets now to fight a two front war on either border and I think that was among the key reasons that their military spending began to increase well before 1980. One of the offshoots of this was the revival of the SALT talks which culminated in May 1972. The ABM agreement pretty much assured us of no nuclear war because it forced both sides to basically eradicate all but 2 missile defense sites, so we were dealing with MAD. The interim Agreement on offensive Weapons has gotten alot of criticism for being less than perfect, or less than what Raymond Garthoff and the formal SALT negotiation team could have achieved. I think that misses the point. Looking back on it, the genius of SALT I was that after the China opening, the Soviets now have the impetus to expand their array of offensive weapons and the treaty basically allowed them to do that within some soft caps on ICBMs and rules fr replacement etc. Whats important in SALT I is really what's not in it. There was no MIRV ban, which was the main technological advantage the US had (the USSR had 600 more ICBMs but the US missiles were much more lethal due to MIRV technology). So you are assuring yourself of no real war thru the ABM Treaty and you are giving the Soviets a reason to keep building up (fear of Sino-US alliance plus a treaty that leaves in place a US tech advantage and puts only soft caps on nuke proliferation.....so of course they are going to be incentivized to match the tech and keep building offensive weapons). That was the brilliant aspect of this. You make sure you won't go to war but you also make sure the bad Soviet economy still has reason to spend, spend and spend. We were going to win either way. It's too bad Reagan had to waste a ton of money needlessly.
Vital defense apparatus? No way

They sold Truman the National Security Act creating the CIA with a cover story: The CIA would provide intel to the president.

But in truth -- the CIA was created to serve the interests of investment bankers. It was all about covert ops -- to undermine liberty across the planet and gain control over resources deemed vital by the US plutocracy.

Truman posted a letter in Dec 1963 -- one month after they snuffed JFK in Dallas -- admitting that he'd been hoodwinked. Too late of course.

It was Kissinger who made the insane decision to MIRV our ICBMs.

It was GW Bush who unilaterally withdrew from the ABM Treaty -- another insane move. Notice, this was after the collapse of the USSR. US policy by the end of the Clinton era was to achieve full spectrum dominance -- which means: a first strike capability.
MHG
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Old 06-04-2013, 02:01 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoCalBronco View Post
It is difficult to assign credit just to one President and if I would it wouldn't be Reagan. The Soviet buildup started actually before 1980, so our own spending really didn't accomplish a ton, other than maybe creating massive deficits.

I'd say Nixon and Truman were the two Presidents who made the biggest impact in winning the Cold War. Truman was responsible for the initial strategy of containment and it was under his administration that many of the vital defense apparatus of today were established (modern DoD, NSA, CIA) as well as NATO. The formations of these agenciesand also the alliance was the absolute bedrock that every subsequent administration benefitted from. The Marshall Plan was also absolutely instrumental in keeping Europe from falling prey to Communism after the war.

Nixons contribution was more strategic rather than organizational. The rapprochement with China was a major way of tilting the balance of power back in the US direction during what was previously a period of relative decline. This forced the Soviets now to fight a two front war on either border and I think that was among the key reasons that their military spending began to increase well before 1980. One of the offshoots of this was the revival of the SALT talks which culminated in May 1972. The ABM agreement pretty much assured us of no nuclear war because it forced both sides to basically eradicate all but 2 missile defense sites, so we were dealing with MAD. The interim Agreement on offensive Weapons has gotten alot of criticism for being less than perfect, or less than what Raymond Garthoff and the formal SALT negotiation team could have achieved. I think that misses the point. Looking back on it, the genius of SALT I was that after the China opening, the Soviets now have the impetus to expand their array of offensive weapons and the treaty basically allowed them to do that within some soft caps on ICBMs and rules fr replacement etc. Whats important in SALT I is really what's not in it. There was no MIRV ban, which was the main technological advantage the US had (the USSR had 600 more ICBMs but the US missiles were much more lethal due to MIRV technology). So you are assuring yourself of no real war thru the ABM Treaty and you are giving the Soviets a reason to keep building up (fear of Sino-US alliance plus a treaty that leaves in place a US tech advantage and puts only soft caps on nuke proliferation.....so of course they are going to be incentivized to match the tech and keep building offensive weapons). That was the brilliant aspect of this. You make sure you won't go to war but you also make sure the bad Soviet economy still has reason to spend, spend and spend. We were going to win either way. It's too bad Reagan had to waste a ton of money needlessly.
Nixon building relations with China was a significant factor and probably bigger than anything Reagan did. Opening up relations with China shifted the east-west schism to much more of a US vs USSR situation. It is important to remember that the US didn't engage the Russians on the battlefield after the 1918 invasion of Siberia but they did fight the Chinese in Korea and Vietnam.

Getting China to open up trade with the West and especially the US really put a ton of pressure on Moscow as lost Moscow a ton of influence in South-East Asia.

Relations with China also went to show that the US were willing to work with communism, which helped pressure Moscow as other block countries saw that it was possible to cooperate with the West, giving them an alternative to Soviet rule.
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Old 05-31-2013, 05:20 PM   #17
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gaffe, when was America not an object for your rage, hate, and disgust?
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Old 05-31-2013, 06:47 PM   #18
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1952
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Old 05-31-2013, 08:57 PM   #19
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1952
We already thrashed that into the ground.

Try again - and quit covering for gaffe. I realize that insane people love to protect each other, but let him grow some balls and answer.

We all know gaffe is a chicken**** Nazi, and a hater...
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Old 05-31-2013, 09:02 PM   #20
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We already thrashed that into the ground.

Try again - and quit covering for gaffe. I realize that insane people love to protect each other, but let him grow some balls and answer.

We all know gaffe is a chicken**** Nazi, and a hater...

OK how about the year Denver tax payers agreed to build us Bronco fans a new stadium. Now that was a good year... Right?
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Old 05-31-2013, 09:05 PM   #21
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OK how about the year Denver tax payers agreed to build us Bronco fans a new stadium. Now that was a good year... Right?
I figured it was the year when Bowlen said "my fans". Betcha came with that one...
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Old 06-02-2013, 11:50 AM   #22
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OK how about the year Denver tax payers agreed to build us Bronco fans a new stadium. Now that was a good year... Right?
Nice.

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Old 05-31-2013, 08:29 PM   #23
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I MIRVed my ICBM in New Orleans once. What a night!
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Old 05-31-2013, 09:00 PM   #24
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I MIRVed my ICBM in New Orleans once. What a night!
Indeed. Find Ro in the picture:

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